The only way is up: Nick's story

When high school teacher Nick Nolander (37) from Colorado lost his feet hiking a 14,000 ft mountain, he never lost his love for the outdoors. Now, with his two new running blades in the bag, he has the tools to carve a new path on his way up the Rockies.

Shouldn't be alive
Taking the leap

When Nick discovered Levitate, he got in touch with us pretty quickly. He found out we were coming to Denver for a test run within the next couple of weeks. He signed up, attended the test run and the rest is history.

“I was amazed at how natural it felt almost immediately. I’ve been a skier my whole life and have ridden a lot of mountain bikes, so I love responsive equipment. I love the responsiveness of the blades and the nice sense of feedback when you push hard.”

Like so many other amputees, Nick had never used a wrench on his legs before, so he had to get used to the idea that he could gain some control over his own prosthetics. Before his running blades, Nick relied on making an appointment with his prosthetist to get things adjusted.

“I think it was intimidating at first, because when you’re a new amputee, they start putting this expensive equipment on you and you’re afraid to touch it. Being able to work with others in person gave me the confidence that I could do it, and then with the instructional video and just what came in the box, I was able to switch out legs and get everything right within 10 minutes.”

Making the best of it
Back to the routine

Nick has had the Levitate running blades for about a month now, and it has changed his routine – for the better. Before getting his hands on running blades, Nick had changed from running and biking on the trail to paddling on the river – but now he’s back on the trail.

“I enjoyed paddling just because it’s a very enabling sport for an amputee.

I didn’t even realize how much I missed having a running routine. It has given me some structure in my life and something to look forward to each day. It motivates me to be healthy, eat well, and get some good sleep. All of the things you’re supposed to do anyway to make your life good.”

Nick received his blades through the Heather Abbott Foundation. Stay tuned for Heather’s story – coming very soon.